ADG Perspective

July-August 2021

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Page 53 of 99

Through the collection of images, I found the threads that I wanted to follow. Director Craig Gillespie wanted the film to be grounded in a reality, no matter how extreme the circumstances. There should be dirt underneath the fingernails. Cruella is about a culture clash. There had to be opposition in the worlds being created. Phil found an archive of 1950s photographs from Dior. The details in those images provided the foundation for the look of the House of Baroness —an environment of intimidating elegance and precision. These sat in contrast to improvised living spaces, squats and the workshops of avant- garde designers. We looked at early Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood. There was fun to be had in finding the contrasts, as well as the similarities. After all, Cruella and the Baroness are essentially cut from the same cloth. The set count on Cruella was the highest that I have tackled. The production's (brilliant) set decorator, Alice Felton, counted one hundred twenty dressed sets. The film is fast paced and energetic, bouncing from story beat to story beat. Once shooting moved out from Shepperton Studios and onto the streets of London, the crew was running all over the city prepping sets. The most hectic week had twenty sets being dressed, shot and struck. I was adamant from the beginning that each set had to have equal attention to detail. Some of those sets are seen for a matter of seconds, but they add texture and depth to the film. The logistics of who was where and when became crucial. The design team had to carefully plot hand-overs of sets. Assistant set decorators Emma Field-Rayner and Jo Graysmark would begin dressing the sets, then move on. Alice and I would come in and finish. An important part of my dressing process is when I get to sweep the floor. I've had a few raised eyebrows from dressing teams over the years, but the importance of my sweeping ritual is twofold. I feel as though I am actively contributing to the preparation of the set A. THE LAIR INTERIOR STAGE SET. ESTELLA'S DESIGN AREA. B. THE LAIR INTERIOR STAGE SET. JASPER'S AREA. C. CONCEPT ART FOR THE BARONESS' WAREHOUSE BY KATREN WOOD. D. THE BARONESS' WORKSHOP IN PROCESS. A B D C

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